"According to a Titleist official, the company is trying to persuade the Tour to hold off on its plans to adopt a condition of competition that would require new groove cross-sections"
Remember a few weeks ago when Greg Norman mentioned rumors that the groove rule change was in doubt? You had to figure the Shark wasn't just throwing that out for attention.
Adam Barr reports that Titleist/Acushnet is trying to convince the PGA Tour to postpone their planned 2010 adoption of a condition of competition requiring conforming grooves in response to the USGA/R&A decision.
Still, all the major manufacturers claim to be ready to proceed with the effective date for the condition of competition the Tour wants to adopt, which is Jan. 1. (Beyond the Tour, the rule would apply to any club manufactured after that date, but clubs made before then will be permissible for use for recreational players until 2024.) Even so, Titleist is asking the Tour to push the rule implementation date back a year because of the intricacies of fitting players under the new groove rules.
None of the major manufacturers would speak on the record for this story. But sources close to the situation have said that the refitting process will be much more complicated than switching out some “old” wedges for new ones. It has been suggested that the performance of wedges with new grooves might even require swing changes, which could lead to the use of a different ball model and, in turn, encourage a driver switch. In other words, the ripple effect of the groove rule could be felt throughout the entire bag. That has some manufacturers and players thinking they need more time to experiment and adjust than the post-season stretch usually reserved for incorporating such new equipment.
So much work drama! Over some grooves. Who knew?
So these big, all knowing manufacturers can't keep up with the USGA now?
“Some manufacturers have said they’re not going to be ready [for the change],” said PGA Tour player Brett Quigley, a member of the Player Advisory Committee. “[But] there’s also the argument that players won’t test until they have to. So why wait another year until 2011? Guys still won’t bother to do it.”
This is really funny:
Of course, players these days won’t stand for any loss of yardage off the tee from the new generation of higher-spinning balls, said the ball manufacturer source. That will be the chief engineering challenge, he said.